by Becca Spradlin
As you may know, providing high quality education has been a key focus of David’s Hope and our local partners in Kenya.
What you may not know, as I recently learned, is that empowering young women through education diminishes gender-based violence. In very poor communities, younger, less educated women are often preyed upon.
One survey reported that women between the ages of 15-44 are more likely to be maimed or to die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined.
Though Kenya is doing well compared to other countries, it is not exempt from suffering in this regard. Women in Kenya who are running for office become rape targets as this is seen as an effective way to publicly shame them. As a female, this is a disturbing lesson to learn and it’s too big to ignore.
From Education to Culture Change
In reading the book Half the Sky, I was intrigued by the authors’ perspectives on how we can work to change laws, but culture change is needed because often this violence is accepted passively or actively by both men and women:
We sometimes think that Westerners invest too much effort in changing unjust laws and not enough in changing culture, by building schools or assisting grassroots movements.
While changing culture is certainly a daunting task, I felt a sense of pride as I read that statement.
As a volunteer and supporter of David’s Hope International, I get to join with others in supporting God’s work in a rural village in Eburru, Kenya. This work includes the education of 300 children and discipleship programs for adults.
As the leader of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association, Mahdere Paulos, said “empowering women begins with education.” And I’m sure she would add that it does not end there.
By supporting the holistic efforts of our local partner, Camp Brethren Ministries (CBM), David’s Hope has the opportunity to encourage the boys and girls, to grow up in a way that honors God, through mutual respect and love for others. In addition to education, feeding programs, health care, and church-planting, CBM encourages young men to follow God instead of joining local gangs. They are also working to address the debilitating issue of alcoholism in the community.
While extinguishing gender-based violence is not in the mission statement of David’s Hope, I know that God can bring about this positive change through the work supported by our organization. It’s been a blessing to see first-hand how God is working through CBM in Eburru since David’s Hope began partnering with them in 2009.
How to Get Involved
- Consider praying for the CBM staff and the community of Eburru
- Email [email protected] to be added to our monthly newsletter to stay informed on the latest prayer requests.
- If you’d like to support David’s Hope financially, your donations will be matched up to $50,000 until June 11, 2013.